My first visit to
Wembley was in 1977, England 0 Holland 2 and I
have loved the place every since. I must have
been to the old Stadium over 100 times, very
rarely missing an England game and being there
for all the Spurs Cup Finals.
I will always remember Ricky Villa in 81,
Gazza in the Semi 91 and of course Gazza v the
skirt wearers in Euro 96.
I was at the Community Day in March, the FA
Cup Final in May and all of our Home games
since the New Wembley opened.
I have been very lucky over the years, to have
visited the Great Stadiums in Europe and have
also done all the major Stadium Tours. The
Best Stadiums and Tours in my opinion are the
San Siro, Nou Camp and the Bernabeu.
I know that not everyone is impressed
with the New Wembley - and I myself, whilst
understanding the need for Club Wembley and
Corporate Seats etc, really dislikes this
feature of the Stadium. But
I am a Supporter of the New Wembley and like
everyone else I am extremely Proud to be
yesterday before seeing Spurs v Reading I
booked myself on the 10.00 Stadium Tour at a
cost of £16.
There were other Spurs fans, some Chelsea and
West Ham on the Tour. The Stadium was that
busy that instead of running Tours every 30
minutes, the Tours were running every 15
minutes. The Tour
was due to last 90 minutes, but actually
lasted 2 hours.
To gain entry to the Tour was like going
through Airport Security. We had a very
knowledgeable Tour guide who was very friendly
and keen not to rush people and let everyone
take as many photos as they wanted.
After a Welcome video from Michael Owen, we
went into the Stadium on the Top tier to see
the full effect of the Wembley bowl. Sadly,
the pitch has not yet been re-laid following the Car
Racing event. Then
it was to the FA Function Room, the Press
Interview Room and a short Wembley History
Then to me a Special moment.
We entered the Players Tunnel, which has a
quite simple but stunning effect, on a Red
background - 2 very large England badges
either side of a banner saying 'WE ARE
At this point, it really hit me - If I was an
England Player going through that Tunnel, I
would be prepared to die for the Shirt - how
the hell did they mess-up so badly against
Before going through the Tunnel, we visited
the England Dressing Room with the shirts laid
out as they were for the Russia game.
All around the Dressing Room area were large
pictures of the England players with
motivational messages, but in strange writing (similar to old
English), so much so that they were hard to
Then it was under the 'WE ARE ENGLAND' sign
and through the Tunnel with the Wembley crowd
noise playing in the background. What a view,
what a Stadium.
After many pitch side
photos we walked up, as John Terry did last
May, all those steps up to the Royal Box to
where there was a £50,000 Replica FA Cup
waiting. On the old
Wembley Stadium Tour there was a cheap nasty
old Speedway Trophy - this was different
class, an amazing replica of the FA Cup. The
Trophy was guarded, and you could only put one
hand on the Trophy for Photos etc.
After imagining Ledley King lifting the Trophy
for Spurs next May, we went out through the
lounges to the Bobby Moore statue and the Tour
ended. Our Tour
Guide gave out great amounts of information,
which would be especially useful to younger
There is now a Stadium Shop where I purchased
the excellent New Wembley Stadium Book,
slightly over priced at £30 but full of great
photos and detail.
The only downside to the Tour is the lack of a
Museum, surely the Football Association could
provide the Memorabilia. Our Guide said that
there were plans for a Museum in the near
I recommend the Tour to every England fan,
especially if you are coming down to London
for a game.
We have a Stadium to be very Proud of and as
that Tunnel Banner says 'WE ARE ENGLAND'.